In a post-apocalyptic land, the last few remaining inhabitants are the spirit animals of graffiti writers. This existential fantasy follows three solitary vandals (played by Wolftits, Avoid and Smells) who cross paths while on the hunt for themeaning behind the abandoned enigmatic artwork left behind by UFO 907 (another nomadic artist). Roaming from one decaying zone to the next in a never ending search for beer, weed, and a wall to paint, these artists forma pact with the rest of the surviving mystics (played by Rambo, Noxer, EKG and others) to attain the answer to their unanimous question: What's the point?
ABOUT THE FILM: As with the original Wastedland (10 min / B&W / 2008), for Wastedland 2 Shirley asked several prominent NYC graffiti artists to create costumes and masks in the likeness of what they believe to be their spirit animals. Then, using the same landscape the artists typically employ as a backdrop for their artwork, they traveled from the mountains of Upstate New York to Black Mountain, North Carolina, filming in squalid buildings and freight train yards along the way, illegally. The mystical theme of the seeker was incorporated into the process of production, letting the film write itself from narrative exploration and unscripted improvisation. It was not until the film had been edited that the script finally finished itself.
ABOUT THE INSTALLATION: This traveling exhibition had its debut in Detroit last September in a former Lincoln Motor Car assembly plant turned Make Work gallery. The film has since been on tour, transforming each space into an immersive experience in the shape of a three-dimensional post apocalyptic-graffiti wonderland. Here questions of fate and self collide with graffiti folk lore through word-play, found and stolen detritus, sculpture and paint. This environment allows the viewer to enter the psychology of the narrative, to identify and ultimately redefine the way one traditionally engages with film and artwork.
ABOUT THE ARTISTS:
Andrew H. Shirley finds an obsession with living experimentation through a miscreant lifestyle detached from material pop culture. His multi-disciplinary work has appeared at PS 1, MOCA, Museum of Sex, and McDonalds International. His films have been screened at festivals in over 300 cities worldwide. As a social architect, he has curated the underground into public events from institutions such as the Brooklyn Academy of Music, to a secret treehouse art gallery he build in upstate New York. Though primarily nomadic, he sometimes resides in Brooklyn, New York with his cat Myrtle.
Shea Cote is an American artist whose work is often produced or experienced with unconventional practices, often deemed ephemeral and ghostly. Public intervention through performative action, sculpture-based photographs and paintings working with time and various natural elements, ephemeral installations of stolen objects, blinding light, warping textures of analog films and field recordings, and the manipulation and exposé of crowds of civilians to commence physical destruction of "property," based on internalized grief, frustration and paranoia.
PRAISE FOR WASTEDLAND 2:
"A new Wizard of Oz for the Anarchist Street Youth." - Charlie Ahearn, Director of Wild Style
"Unreality has made an unexpected narrative incursion into the usually predictable world of Graffiti Art, or maybe this is Graffiti's abandoned back lot of the Brothers Grimm." - Bill Daniel, Director of Who is Bozo Texino? : The Secret History of Hobo Graffiti, and author of Mostly True
"Wastedland 2 is a road trip without a road, a therapeutic buddy film without saccharine, staged in a post-apocalyptic terrain that is revealed as graffiti oasis. The hapless beer- and weed-fueled journey is pure youthful angst suspended in chemicals, and many in the audience laughed in recognition at the head-banging frustration voiced about fundamental life questions by these furry characters." - Jamie Rojo & Steven Harrington of Brooklyn Street Art